Monday, April 2, 2012

Tina's Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I had a rough weekend at work. I don't want to go into the details but it was one of those weekends where I came home completely spent and unable to muster up any energy for anything. I was very grateful for my wonderful wife who took care of the evening details of our weekend, making sure I got refueled to face the next day. On Saturday she organized a dinner with friends at one of my favorite spots and gave me a little massage before going to bed so my body would quit twitching from 8 hours of X box activity. As I slept soundly she snuck out to the grocery store to get what she needed for a surprise snack the next day. I woke up to a large bottle of Frank's hot sauce in the kitchen which struck me as very weird. Tina is not a hot sauce kind of girl. When I came home Sunday the kitchen was filled with a savory aroma. I couldn't imagine what she was up to but I knew it involved that hot sauce.

Giddy with excitement she presented a plate of Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, a savory treat that literally melted in my mouth adorned with creamy ranch dip. These little nuggets are out of this world. I ate about 20 of them in one sitting, called that dinner (And then woke up this morning and polished off the rest.) I want more!  Tina sat patiently for my review and then took me on a ride on the Silver Bullet, her new scooter. It was the best tonic for my worn down state of existence.

Since I was not involved in the execution of this little treat I can not speak to what is involved but Tina describes them as labor intensive. They do require a meat grinder which not too many people probably have. I would imagine a butcher would grind the meat for you if you asked nicely.

Tina's Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced onion, divided
1/2 stalk celery, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (she used orgran gluten-free rice crumbs and actually used 3/4 a cup and we both agreed, 1/2 a cup might be better)

Ranch dip

Some unknown measurement of sour cream and part of an envelope of ranch dip, mix portions to your taste or use ranch dressing in a bottle or if you want a more traditional blue cheese something.

Garnish with celery sticks

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 9 X 12 pan with vegetable oil. In a saucepan combine the hot sauce, butter and a tablespoon of minced onion. Whisk over low heat until combined. Cool.

In a bowl mix remaining ingredients by hand. Then add 1/3 cup of the hot sauce mixture, reserve the remaining hot sauce for later. Make about 40 3/4 inch meatballs, slightly smaller than ping pong balls and larger than marbles. Place snugly in greased pan. Meatballs should touch each other. Bake for 20 minutes. The put the meatballs under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, till crispy. Remove from oven and baste with the remaining hot sauce mixture. Serve with the ranch dip and celery. Enjoy!

1 comment:

GF Gidget said...

You had me at "hot sauce"! Way to go Tina! These sound awesome! I am super impressed that you ground your own meat, too!